A coach who had to step down due to his struggle with ALS returned to the sidelines Thursday at Greenville High School. Students and parents gathered to thank Jeremy Williams for his years of service and sacrifice.
The former "National High School Football Coach of the Year" retired two years ago because of ALS.
Williams can no longer speak, so his 10-year-old son Jacob does the talking for him. Jacob was excited to see his father on the Patriots' on the field again.
"I was like, wow, I can't believe my dad's going to go to Greenville again. I remember what he had a long time ago. It's just awesome," Jacob Williams said.
Williams was the honorary coach for the teams' spring scrimmage game.
"Really want to do something to just let Coach William know that we still think about him, still love him, and that he'll always be part of the family," said Greenville High Principal Thaddeus Jackson.
Thursday was the first time Williams was on the sidelines since retiring a few years back. Lou Gehrig's Disease stole his ability to move and to speak, but not to lead.
"That's what I love about him: he don't quit. And that's what he's going through this struggle now, he hasn't quit yet," said Greenville High Coach Vex Farley.
Colleagues call Williams an example of heart, will and courage.
"I love to come back home and just see my old coach again," said former player Vincent Warner.
Williams' inspiration has former football players returning to honor his fight.
"Any time that you think something, that you can't accomplish anything, you just always think about the things that he's done and showed us and remember that anything is possible," said Warner.
Jacob Williams says football has given his father so much happiness that he wants to follow his dream and also be a coach here at Greenville High.
205 N. Michigan Avenue Ground Floor Chicago, IL 60601 Station Operator: (312) 565-5532 Newsroom: (312)565-5533